The word “heirloom” comes from an old English term meaning “inherited tools” but now refers to anything – including plants – passed along or shared with others. Unlike a hand-me-down tool or even a cherished antique statue, which only one person at a time can possess, heirloom plants can be shared and preserved among countless gardeners, who keep the plants going for future generations to enjoy.
Collect old-fashioned items from around the house and put them to use as a reminder of previous generations. Great Grandma's button collection can be repurposed as vase embellishments. To give a small glass vase a vintage feel, simply wrap jute twine around a glass and secure with tape. Using a hot-glue gun, fasten buttons to the outside of the twine.
There’s a unique array of baskets, sculptures and vases in the bedroom built-in. Senegalese baskets live here, an antique Chinese document case can be spotted, and a display of wooden vases from Indian. Here they add yet another dimension of global design to this flawlessly constructed interior.
For classic farmhouse style, decorate the walls of your kitchen in antique or vintage china arranged in pretty compositions, says Susan Sully, author of “Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques." “You can mix different patterns when you do this,” she says. In this kitchen, plates featuring similar colors in different shapes and sizes are arranged on the wall beside a Dutch door and complement the dinnerware in the open shelving above the sink.
Add a monogram for a classic touch. A monogrammed antique linen sheet, paired with a contemporary coverlet and new pillows, creates a cozy place reminiscent of a luxury B&B. The detail on the Jenny Lind Spool bed, which can be found in antiques stores or on eBay, combines with the scalloped edge of the sheets for a complete look.
A great way to spruce up your counter space is by switching out your accessories to incorporate new colors and shapes. “Hunt down different bottles of all different kinds,” says Susan Sully, author of “Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques.” “I think adding that one cranberry bottle in with the rest really brought that to life.” She says putting family photos in mismatched frames can also give decor flair.
As seen on HGTV's Love It or List It Too, Jillian Harris designed a dining room for the family that is elegant and contemporary, with a vintage touch. The table and chairs add a contemporary feel to the space with their stark lines and unique designs, while the vintage silver serving trays give the space a classic feel. The large French doors can be opened to let in sunlight or to bring the outside in.
If you don't have an antique wooden dough bowl at your disposal, many reproductions can be found at chain home decor stores. This idea would also work with a metal or wood trough, a crate or even a shallow basket. Just find something with the right shape and scale for your table.
You can turn anything into a collection. Group a trio of mirrors with an interesting finish, such as an antique patina, on a wall for instant artwork. If you find mirrors with different sizes and frames at a yard sale or thrift store, patina the frames and mirrors to achieve the same look. “Grouping affordable mirrors is a great way to add charm and interest to a wall,” says Julie Montgomery, owner of Julie Montgomery Interiors in Atlanta.
Inexpensive painted trays, which were popular in the 1950s and 1960s and are still made today, can bring a farmhouse motif to a kitchen, breakfast nook or adjacent area. Small silhouettes often are bargain-priced at vintage and antiques shops, or you can make your own by printing silhouette-style clip art and placing it in small wooden frames. Pick three or four types of objects, such as silhouettes, blue-and-white serving platters, trays and resin horns, and arrange them in a composition, says Susan Sully, author of “Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques."
This guest bedroom chock-full of unexpected design items is at once quirky and layered with depth. Hitting an antiques store when decorating a room can provide endless inspiration and help you define your space -- take, for example, the old tuba and the antique fan made into a wall clock. Both are fun and youthful -- and may be cheap additions that provide endless personality.
Marcella Lentz-Pope wanted every space in her loft to have a lived-in feel. The laid-back vibe can be seen throughout the space, especially in the sitting corner of her apartment that features a cozy blue velvet chair, a pink chenille throw and an antique record player.